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OWU's Alex Aguilar '08 to Throw Opening Pitch at Jacobs Field


April 12, 2005

DELAWARE, OHIO -- When Ohio Wesleyan University freshmen Alex Aguilar and Julia Smith became OWU's first Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars for 2004-05, they became part of the legacy of one of one of the nation's most memorable partnerships ­ between baseball executive Branch Rickey (OWU Class of 1904) and baseball legend Jackie Robinson. Little did one of these students, Alex, know that he also would, one day, be asked to take his place briefly on the pitcher's mound amid the cheers and applause of more than 43,000 baseball fans in Cleveland's Jacobs Field.
 
At the invitation of members of the Jackie Robinson Foundation and with support from the Cleveland Indians organization, Alex will throw out the first pitch on Friday evening, April 15, before the 7:05 p.m. start of the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins game.
 
"The scholarship that Alex has received helps us all to continue to celebrate the lives of two great men, Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson," says Bob DiBiasio, a 1977 OWU graduate and vice president of University Communications of the Cleveland Indians organization. "I look forward to having Alex here for Friday's game and know we will have some fun." Alex, too, is excited about this opportunity.
 
"I am pleased to be part of the Jackie Robinson Scholarship program and have always admired Mr. Robinson for his talents as a baseball player, but also for his contributions to civil rights advancement," says Alex, whose grandfather was not able to play in the major leagues more than 70 years ago because he was Mexican. As for his pitching debut on Friday, Alex has but one hope.
 
"I just don't want to pull a "John Kerry," and bounce it!"